ALLETE completes purchase of 108-MW wind project in Iowa

An ALLETE (NYSE:ALE) company has completed its acquisition of a 108-MW wind power project in Storm Lake, Iowa.

ALLETE Clean Energy announced Dec. 18 that it has paid $15m to NRG Energy (NYSE:NRG) to acquire Storm Lake 1, which is adjacent to Storm Lake 2, a 78MW wind farm purchased by ALLETE Clean Energy earlier this year.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the deal on Dec. 1. The parties had sought FERC authorization in late October.

Both Storm Lake installations use 750 kilowatt (kW) Zond turbines and are adjacent to each other in northwest Iowa. Storm Lake 2, acquired by ACE in a deal that closed in January 2014 includes 104 wind turbines; Storm Lake 1 consists of 144 turbines.

“This acquisition creates immediate efficiencies with our first Storm Lake purchase, and it complements our expanding wind fleet,” said ALLETE Clean Energy President Eric Nordberg. “This project furthers ALLETE growth in the expanding clean energy field.” Nordberg expects the acquisition of Storm Lake 1 will be accretive to ALLETE’s earnings in 2015.

The Storm Lake 1 and 2 wind farms will share an operations and maintenance facility, and both are operating under power sales agreements that extend another five years, Nordberg said. On January 30, 2014, ALLETE Clean Energy closed on the purchase of companies that own Storm Lake 2 and wind energy facilities located in Lake Benton, Minn., and Condon, Ore., with a total output of about 231 MW of power. ACE acquired ownership of the three wind units from the AES Corp. for $26.9m, and also has an option to acquire from AES a 101 MW wind facility in Pennsylvania.

ALLETE Clean Energy announced on Nov. 24, that it had acquired the rights to develop a 107 MW wind project near Hettinger, N.D. and upon project completion sell it to Montana Dakota Utilities for approximately $200m, subject to regulatory approval. Electric generation from this project, the first wind energy facility to be developed and built by ALLETE Clean Energy, will be used by MDU’s utility customers.

ALLETE Clean Energy was established in 2011 to acquire or develop capital projects connected with wind, solar, biomass, hydro, natural gas, shale resources, clean coal technology and other emerging innovations.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.